CleanTechies Podcast
#176 Green Premium & the Price of No Action, Partner w/ Big Oil?, EV Demand, & More w/ Shaun Abrahamson, Part II (Third Sphere)

#176 Green Premium & the Price of No Action, Partner w/ Big Oil?, EV Demand, & More w/ Shaun Abrahamson, Part II (Third Sphere)

📺 Watch on YouTube | 🍎 Apple Podcasts | 🎧 Spotify | 🗣️ Join the Slack Channel

🌎 Welcome back to the CleanTechies PodLetter, with Shaun Abrahamson of Third Sphere.

Today, we’ve got a banger for you. Our guest is Shaun Abrahamson, Managing Partner from Third Sphere. If you recognize the name, it might be because he has appeared on the show before (Episode 136).

There is a reason we had to do a pt II with Shaun — and no, it’s not just because of his good looks or how cool he is. Shaun is like a deep well of knowledge, especially when it comes to the shifting landscape of ClimateTech investing. In episode 136, he broke down how to finance your climate hardware products and the different parts of the climate capital stack . It’s an amazing episode, and we highly recommend checking it out, especially if you’re building ClimateTech hardware. (That episode was also one of our top episodes from all of last year).

But on this episode, we dove into something a bit different…

🚨Attention! 🚨 We interrupt your regular programming for an important message.

ClimateTech founders are taking on a huge challenge. Building a climate startup is highly complex but also SO NECESSARY if we are going to save the climate. Founders not only you need to understand how to build a startup, but you also need to understand how to deal with hardware, have a strong handle on climate policy, know how to fundraise from diverse investors types, etc. etc. etc…

It’s a lot.

That’s why we make CleanTechies. The #1 Podcast for ClimateTech Entrepreneurs.

In addition to our jobs, we devote ~20 hours a week to producing this podcast for you. This way, you can learn from others who have walked the path you’re on now, learn from their mistakes, and gain insights on navigating this complex world.

If this mission resonates with you, we ask for your financial support of this project. It takes a lot of effort, and it’s not free. Your willingness to contribute on a monthly or yearly basis helps us keep this going.

If you’re already a subscriber and want to contribute financially, click “Upgrade to Paid” at the top right of your screen.

If not, follow the steps once you click “Subscribe” below to help us out. Thanks for helping us help all the climate entrepreneurs like you. 🙏 🌎

Today’s episode covers two gargantuan topics

Partnering with Big Oil—AND—Repricing Climate Risk

Partnering with Big Oil:

  • The backlash against partnering with Big Oil

  • What is the actual value of partnering with Big Oil

  • Will Big Oil maintain prominence for long, or will any partnership end up being a distraction and anchor

  • How EV demand increasing has the potential to send Big Oil into a tailspin sooner than we think

Repricing Climate Risk:

  • The implications of insurance companies’ recent decisions to leave California and Florida (on certain lines)

  • How new models will help us understand the cost of no action in the face of climate calamities

  • Modeling lost revenues from climate disasters

  • How a ‘green premium’ will no longer be a consideration because of how expensive inaction will become

  • The blue ocean of opportunity for new model creation (warning: startup ideas💡)

A bit about Shaun

For those not familiar with Shaun, he started his career in product management and ended up getting into VC circa 2013. Eventually, he and some partners founded Third Sphere (FKA Urban Us).

Fast forward to Climate Week NYC 2023, he and the Third Sphere team put on one of the most important events of the year (IMHO). Their presentation on the “Escalator of Impact” and how to design for climate finance. It was a huge turning point in formalizing how founders can understand the milestones needed to get to scale.

He’s also working on a sick EV conversion project with his brother (check out his LinkedIn content for more details).

Do you have suggestions on future guests or topics? Leave a comment!

Leave a comment

Unable to support financially but still want to help? Share this post w/ 3 ClimateTech entrepreneurs (or aspiring entrepreneurs). Sharing is super helpful to us, and it costs you nothing.



  • 4:33 ClimateTech Partnering With Big Oil

  • 8:16 Dynamics of ClimateTech and Big Oil

  • 13:57 Managing Government Spending into other Funds

  • 19:44 Funding / Sources of Capital for ClimateTech

  • 26:33 Finding Talent from O&G

  • 28:24 Re-pricing Climate Risk

  • 33:47 Revenue Lost Estimates

  • 35:43 The Idea of Green Premium

  • 47:55 Pitching Potential New Insurance Products

  • 53:33 Connecting with Shaun

  • 55:30 Takeaways


Asks 👋

👉 Listeners Survey

  • We would love to hear how we can improve the show and what you like most.

Take the Listeners Survey

👉 Fundraising for Founders

  • If founders are looking for funding in the ClimateTech space, reach out & schedule a chat here!

👉 Early-Stage Founders Hiring

  • Silas just started his own recruitment consultancy tailor-made for early-stage ClimateTech startups. He does this by offering heavily discounted headhunting services for companies at Pre-Seed, Seed, and Series A companies. If you need a hand finding the best talent on the market, and you don’t want to sell your kidney to pay for it, let’s chat. (booking here)

Get Hiring

👉 Meet Top Founders

  • Interested in getting in front of hundreds of ClimateTech VCs and Founders each month, reach out to to learn more about becoming a sponsor.

If you couldn’t already tell, we care a lot about ClimateTech founders 😂

🙏🏽 Thanks for tuning in, and see you all next episode!

CleanTechies Podcast
CleanTechies is a Podcast and Newsletter where Somil & Silas interview the leading ClimateTech Founders and Investors to share their advice and journeys with other Founders and Investors to help others succeed.